I love college basketball. College football is my favorite sport, but college hoops is right behind it in second place. The 35-second shot clock, the buzzer-beaters and March Madness are just some of what makes it a fantastic sport to follow.
You know what else is associated with college basketball? Selection committees, just like the one that will be implemented in college football in 2015.
The period in between college basketball and football bowl season is one of my favorite times of the year. What if, however, the college football season ended today and we were under the impending playoff system? If the selection committee had to select one of the two teams to be a part of the four-team playoff, who would they choose? Throwing out the consideration of the conference champion, let’s examine their resumes and take a look:
Georgia wasn’t expected to be in the national championship hunt at all this season, but have earned their way into the BCS top five and into the hunt for the big crystal ball. Preseason expectations were high for the Bulldogs, as their schedule was regarded as one of the easiest in the conference with neither Alabama nor LSU on the schedule.
This season started off very well with a 4-0 record with wins over Buffalo, Missouri, FAU and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs then hosted Tennessee and squeaked by the Volunteers in a shootout, followed by a blowout loss to South Carolina on the road. After a bye week, Georgia barely beat Kentucky in Lexington and won a sloppy, but huge victory of Florida. They finished the season 11-1 with wins over Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.
Aaron Murray has been the key player at quarterback, breaking career records in passing yards and QB rating.
- Has a victory over a Top 5 BCS team (Florida)
- quarterback play
- ranked third in the BCS
- SEC Eastern Division Champion
- Nice “underdog” material
- Has had close victories vs. bowl ineligible teams
- Win against Florida was sloppy
- SOS is weak
- Not much experience with top teams
- South Carolina blowout
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide are after their third BCS Championship in four seasons. Expectations were high coming into the season, but there were concerns as to how the Tide would handle the loss of key defensive players. Nonetheless, Alabama was No. 1 in the BCS standings for the first four weeks of the season and has remained in the top five all season long.
Alabama breezed through the first eight weeks of the schedule, scoring early and often, while allowing no more than 14 points per game. Then they encountered a true test in Death Valley against then-No. 5 LSU Tigers, who almost secured victory until an amazing final drive by Alabama snagged the win. They suffered their first loss of the season the following week to No. 15 Texas A&M. The Tide closed the season out with wins over Western Carolina and rival Auburn.
- Strong performance in first eight weeks
- First in the NCAA in points against
- Has BCS National Championship experience throughout team
- Remained in BCS Top five all season
- Big wins over Michigan and LSU
- Performance in LSU and Texas A&M games underwhelming
- Alabama SOS not terrible, but not very good either
- Texas A&M loss at home
- Ugly win over LSU
If you are the selection committee, there should be one thing clear: If the season ended now with no conference champions considered, then both Alabama and Georgia would be in the playoffs. But what would happen if they could only take one of these two.
Because of a slightly better strength of schedule, and because their wins are more impressive, Alabama would be the likely choice by the selection committee. The close wins over Tennessee and Kentucky really hurt Georgia. Alabama dominated those games against non-bowl eligible teams (Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Auburn). Plus, Georgia faced two teams in the top 25, while Alabama faced four.
This doesn’t mean Georgia gets no love from the selection committee. They still are a top 5 team in the BCS, with a rising star in Aaron Murray. Georgia would also be a great storyline in the playoffs. It’s just not enough to convince the committee members. It would take a win over Alabama in the SEC Championship game to overwhelmingly convince the selection committee to pick them over Alabama.
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